7 tips to gamify your classroom

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Game-based learning involves using the functioning and mechanics of the game in an educational context, thus taking advantage of its advantages as a motivating, social and interactive element. To do this, various strategies can be put into practice and the resources made available to us by


1. Define a clear goal. Establish what knowledge or attitudes you want your students to acquire or practice through play. It can be coursework assistance, the contents of a quarter, or a specific topic that resists them. You can also have the purpose of promoting certain behaviors, developing certain skills or competencies. In any case, it is important that you define the objective before starting to design the game. 

2. Transform the learning of skills and knowledge into play. You must be able to translate the traditional learning process into a playful and fun proposal. You can start with a simple option (in many cases, the most effective and motivating) and, for example, be inspired by a traditional game that you already know so that the first test is more fluid, both for you and for the students. Trivia, the goose, or any question and answer or concept matching game can be a perfect place to start. 

3. Set a specific challenge. One of the essential questions when facing a game for the first time is: "What do we have to achieve?" Just like you, as a teacher, you must be clear about the didactic objective of the game, your students must be aware of what the playful objective of the game is and what they have to do to achieve it. Sometimes games tend to complicate to such an extent that their final destiny is diluted. Focus on a specific and motivating challenge, explain it to your students, and always keep it in mind before, during, and after the development of the game, to analyze how the experience has been, detect successes and errors, and learn for the next session. 

4. Establish rules of the game. The rules serve to reinforce the objective of the game, but they also prevent chaos from taking over its development, define behaviors, promote fair competition or facilitate certain events or crossroads that may interest you. Create concise rules, review them one by one with your students so that they are clear, and always observe their compliance by all participants in the game. 

5. Create a system of rewards (badges)The reward is a fundamental part of the game. In fact, there are gamification systems that are based solely on establishing scores or awards that are applied in the traditional development of the class and that serve to assess the acquisition of content but also behaviors, the ability to work in a team, participation in the classroom, extra work ... There are online systems such as ClassCraft or OpenBadges that allow you to set scores and awards for certain achievements. You can choose these or a traditional scoring system that should be clear and accessible or visible in the classroom to stay motivated. 

6. Come up with a motivating competition. Healthy competition is an indispensable part of the game. Direct and individual confrontation is not necessary, you can opt for cooperative games in which the participants will have to collaborate and contribute in different ways to achieve the final reward. But even then there will be some competition to participate, help each other, solve the next step, achieve the achievement before the rest of the team or improve your own scores. 

7. Set levels of increasing difficulty. The operation of a game is based on the balance between the difficulty of a challenge and the satisfaction obtained from overcoming it. Therefore, as the student progresses and practices, the level of difficulty must increase to adapt to the domain he has acquired. In this way, the challenge-overcoming tension will be maintained and, therefore, the student's motivation to continue playing and surpassing themselves. As in the previous steps, the experience you acquire will help you better define the levels, taking into account the use you make of the game and the results obtained.

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